GINNA PARSONS: Baked kale surprises, pleases

GINNA PARSONS

GINNA PARSONS

Perhaps I arrived late to the party, but at least I got there.

I have just discovered baked kale.

For years, people have been telling me about kale and how versatile it is. You can cook it like greens, they said, or put it in a salad or even a soup. But the best way, they all agreed, was to bake it in the oven until it’s crispy and then eat it like potato chips.

Yeah, right.

Yes, indeed.

Just after Christmas, I was going through some old magazines I was getting ready to toss when I came across the November 2010 issue of Cooking Light. I quickly flipped through it to see if there were any recipes I wanted to save when I came across one for Garlic-Roasted Kale.

And I thought, why not? What have I got to lose? A bunch of kale is less than a dollar at the grocery store right now.

I went home and told my skeptical husband what I was going to make. He didn’t have a lot of hope, but he didn’t dissuade me, either.

I followed the recipe exactly and I have to say, this dish was heavenly. Crispy, crunchy, salty – every bit as good as potato chips. I even offered some to my son, Patrick, who eyed them warily, but then agreed they were delicious.

One caveat: These need to be eaten immediately. Once they’re cool, they turn a bit chewy.

Garlic-Roasted Kale

31⁄2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

10 ounces kale, stems removed and chopped

1 teaspoon sherry vinegar

Arrange oven racks in center and lower third of oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place a large jelly-roll pan in oven for 5 minutes.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; toss to coat. Place kale mixture on hot pan, spreading with a silicone spatula to separate leaves. Bake for 7 minutes. Stir kale. Bake an additional 5 minutes or until edges of leaves are crisp and brown and kale is tender.

Place kale in a large bowl. Drizzle with vinegar; toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.